>Coast Guard Inspects Ships Destined for Haiti

>Fifth Coast Guard marine inspectors are in the process of inspecting numerous ships that are being mobilized for Haitian earthquake relief.

Over the weekend, marine inspectors from Sector Baltimore were aboard the USNS COMFORT (Baltimore, MD) to ensure the vessel was ready for sea and capable to safely perform its Haiti relief mission. The USNS COMFORT is a naval hospital ship that will deliver immense capability to the mission. The hulking ship – three football fields long and one wide – has 250 hospital beds and a 550-person medical team that includes trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, eye surgeons and obstetricians and gynecologists. Prior to its mobilization, the USNS COMFORT was in a maitenance period and the effort by involved parties to ready the ship for sea was enormous.

Over the weekend and throughout much of this week, Sector Hampton Roads will inspect the following vessels that are being mobilized by the Maritime Administration (MARAD):

SS GOPHER STATE (Newport News, VA) is a TACS crane ship designed to provide the capability to load and unload containers and other cargo in ports where facilities are badly damaged or nonexistent.

SS CORNHUSKER STATE (Newport News, VA) is a TACS crane ship designed to provide the capability to load and unload containers and other cargo in ports where facilities are badly damaged or nonexistent.

SS CAPE MAY (Norfolk, VA) is a sea barge clipper class (SEABEE) vessel, so that its characteristic cargo is barges, as well as sections of causeway, and other materials used by the Construction Battalions (Seabees) of the U.S. Navy.

HUAKAI (Norfolk, VA) is a new high-speed roll-on roll-off passenger and vehicle ferry, originally built for service in the Hawaiian Islands, but never put into service. It is capable of carrying up to 866 passengers and 282 cars, or 28 trucks or buses plus 65 cars, at a top speed of more than 35 knots.